Our approach to teaching and learning
"Commit yourself to lifelong learning. The most valuable asset you'll ever have is your mind and what you put into it." Brian Tracy
At Downsview our aim is to provide a caring, exciting and inspiring place to learn, where children feel safe and nurtured. We want our children to become resilient learners, with a growth mindset, who are willing to try new things, learn from their mistakes and reflect on their learning. We want our children to grow into independent and confident young people, well prepared for the next stage in their education.
Our curriculum is evolving and designed to equip our children to thrive in an increasingly complex and rapidly changing world. Whilst studying the curriculum, we want to build the habits of ambitious capable learners by:
- Setting themselves high standards and expectations (be ambitious)
- Learn from mistakes and when faced with challenges, have the mindset of “I don’t know it yet.” (have a growth mindset)
- Developing a body of knowledge and have skills to connect and apply the knowledge in different contexts
- Being curious and motivated to ask questions
- Enjoying the challenge of solving problems and using logical and rational skills to build critical thinking (reasoning skills)
- Communicating effectively; explaining succinctly the ideas and concepts they are learning about and listening to other’s view points
- Being ready to learn throughout their lives (life-long learning)
- Using imagination and intuition to explore possibilities and look at things in different ways (creative thinking)
Our agile teaching approach enables our children to reclaim responsibility for their own learning. When children own their own learning, they develop deeper knowledge and higher order thinking. Collaborative learning opportunities are encouraged to promote engagement in learning, enrich relationships and instil the values of sharing and co-operation.
One of the central aims of the curriculum is to ensure that our children are both "interesting and interested". We want them to be 'interesting' to talk to, because they know a great deal about the world and 'interested' in finding out more. We want the children to deepen their understanding of the world and build up their knowledge over time, as we understand that knowledge is 'sticky', in other words, the more children know the easier it is for them to know more. Therefore, we have designed our curriculum with knowledge at its heart. We make use of knowledge organisers (KO) to ensure children know exactly which information is expected to be learned over the course of their study in a particular subject.
Our bespoke 'Knowledge Organisers' include:
- essential facts about the topic
- key vocabulary or technical terms and their meanings
- images such as maps or diagrams